The First Story

I know this is not very interesting but I’m putting it here so I won’t forget.

Klara made up her first story today. It goes like this:

Once upon a time, there were three little bears. And they went to explore a garden. A wolf came but one bear said, “Look, Wolfie is coming.” So the bears hid. Big end.

“Big end” is her version of “the end.” I’m very proud of the story because it’s completely her own. She didn’t retell one of my stories. Plus, note the correct use of “hid.”

Since I’m at it, here is a parenting hack. Yesterday, she trashed her room. Which is normal at this age and a sign of healthy development. I let her rage for a while, and then came in with a dolly. “Look!” I said. “Look what Foofy has done! Foofy trashed Klara’s room! It’s a mess. Now Klara and I have to clean up. Bad girl, Foofy!”

Klara happily joined me in cleaning up the room to show Foofy how it’s done. And then we spent the next half hour explaining to Foofy why it’s not a good idea to trash rooms and disciplining her. The goal was to let the child save face after her anger played out and experience the consequences vicariously through play, in a way that’s not threatening and is fun. The trick is to avoid introducing the dolly into the situation too early because the rage needs to play itself out. Also it’s important not to create an antagonistic situation between parent and child with “Look what you have done! Now I have to clean up.” They can’t deal with it at this age. Until the first stage of separation (between 6 and 8), it can’t be you versus me. Do that, and the tantrum will last forever.

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